Here we go again… soon we will be overrun by mosquitoes again . Don’t think that to fight these insects you have to get your hands dirty with chemicals and insecticides .
There are, as we have already seen, many totally natural , completely ecological anti-mosquito solutions that allow you to get rid of these annoying insects without any impact on the environment and on our skin. Here are the most effective ones also according to mosquitoweb.it , the Italian portal completely dedicated to methods of fighting mosquitoes.
Let’s start with the mosquito traps. These are devices capable of attracting fertile mosquitoes in search of a blood meal by simulating the presence of a large mammal . The deception occurs by producing heat and carbon dioxide in the right amount. Once attracted, the unfortunates are sucked in by a fan and trapped forever.
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The most powerful traps can cover surfaces up to 6000 square meters, the smaller ones, which do not produce carbon dioxide, defend a few hundred square meters. Choose appliances that do not produce CO 2 , even if they are less effective, they do not contribute to increasing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere . The best known traps are Mosquito Magnet , Mega-Catch , Mosquitaire and Zanzatrap .
THE DO -IT-YOURSELF OVITRAPS
A favorite place for mosquitoes (especially tigers) are the small stagnations of water . Here the eggs are laid which during the hottest periods mature leading to the flicker of adults in a few days. So why not offer suitable breeding grounds that allow eggs to be laid but prevent them from fluttering?
The ovitrappole are ideal to disrupt the life cycle of these evil insects . A black plastic cup half-filled with water and left in the ground for no more than 5 days is enough for an ovitrapper. It is thus possible to attract the female who lays her eggs. After 5 days the water is emptied into the ground (NOT in the manholes) and the eggs that have been laid or the larvae that have formed on contact with the soil and without water will die.
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- NATURAL PREDATORS: LEGS AND BATS
- Mosquito repellent plants: the Catambra
- PERSONAL PROTECTIONS
- Repellent clothing and fabrics
- Natural sprinklers for open environments
- MANAGEMENT OF STAGS
- NATURAL LARVICIDE
- HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
NATURAL PREDATORS: LEGS AND BATS
If you have an artificial pond, you can create a giant ovitrap by placing the Gambusie in the water . These are very voracious minnows that are greedy for mosquito larvae. The water will be an attractive place for spawning and the trusty minnows will make a clean sweep.
Other natural predators known for their appetite for mosquitoes are bats . Although they are cute little animals, it should be noted that they are not so useful in fighting mosquitoes. Luckily for them they do not feed exclusively on mosquitoes (otherwise they would already be extinct) but on all the insects they encounter. So only a small percentage of their nocturnal prey will be mosquitoes. In addition, the infamous and annoying tiger mosquito is active during the day, the bats at night will rarely meet. Despite this, you can always adopt a few bats by purchasing or building a bat-box . Due to urbanization they have fewer and fewer shelters to take shelter.
Mosquito repellent plants: the Catambra
Nature also comes to meet us with plants . The mosquito repellent plant par excellence is the Catambra . An all-Italian invention that repels mosquitoes for a range of action equal to double the width of the canopy.
La Catambra is available in many sizes: from the smallest to the largest that reach a height of three meters. They can also be in a hedge format with a more columnar shape, with leaves distributed along the entire stem, particularly suitable for protecting balconies and terraces.
There are many natural active ingredients useful to repel mosquitoes: Lemongrass , Neem Oil, Geranium Extract, Mint, Ledum Palustre, Aroma di Guna and many others. It would be impossible to classify them all and indicate which one works better than others.
The only trick is to always read the label carefully to understand what substances they contain. The chemical repellents definitely contain: DEET (or N-diethyl-m-toluamide), icaridin (or Picaridina o) KBR3023 . Be careful because sometimes the name can be confusing like the Orphea baby product with natural flower essences that contains DEET.
Repellent clothing and fabrics
The most demanding can equip themselves with repellent clothes and fabrics . Sheets , golf and knitwear are available for all ages. The particular and non-toxic treatments guarantee effectiveness even after many washes. Even if you are not equipped with these innovative fabrics, know that some experiments have highlighted the colors that most attract mosquitoes (we are talking about the mosquitoes present in Italy):
- black (more attractive)
- red (very attractive)
- blue (neutral)
- white (less attractive)
Natural sprinklers for open environments
If you want to organize an outdoor dinner and not have problems you can point to natural environmental repellents to spray on the surfaces around the area to be protected (walls, vegetation).
The best known are Z-stop (garlic extract) and Neem oil . They are available in bottles of several liters and by mixing them with water they can be sprayed on the surfaces surrounding the area to be protected. Being natural, they have no contraindications to be used where food is consumed. On the contrary, they spread an “appetizing” and never unpleasant aroma, especially in the case of garlic extract.
Since, like all natural products, they have a short persistence, they are also used to distribute them with automatic timed sprayers . These sprayers have recently taken hold in the United States and I am convinced that they will soon appear in our country as well.
MANAGEMENT OF STAGS
It goes without saying that the prevention of waterlogging is the basis of the fight against mosquitoes. You will be surprised to find out how little water it takes to give rise to a swarm of blood-starved mosquitoes . If there are manholes in your garden where water stagnates, you can easily solve them with special shutters .
These are totally mechanical measurements . Gate valves are applied inside the manhole which, operated by a counterweight, allow the passage of water and debris, closing again at the end of the flow. Once closed, they prevent mosquitoes from reaching stagnant water for spawning . They are available in different sizes and shapes to adapt to any type of drain, assembly is easy and can be done by yourself. There are also “universal” versions that can be adapted to manholes with more particular shapes by shaping the shape with a cutter.
But be careful not to let your guard down by forgetting to check that the mechanisms are rendered ineffective by the deposition of debris. A free slot is enough for the cursed to proliferate.
For the management of stagnation you can use a normal and safe larvicide . The Bacillus thuringiensis var. israeliensis (Bti) is one of the methods with the lowest environmental impact for the control of mosquitoes.
It is a bacterium discovered in 1976 in Israel. BTi is the most selective larvicide among those currently on the market and has no large residual activity. Under normal conditions its activity extends for 2-3 days after application . In low-polluted waters at high concentrations, their persistence and residuality increase. There are slow-release tablets on the market that can allow for 20-30 days of residue.
BTi is absolutely unable to spread any infection or to give toxicity to unaffected animals . It does not cause any toxic effect on the central or peripheral nervous system when administered orally.
Do not use copper instead … it pollutes and is effective only in substantial quantities.
A homeopathic remedy, the oral intake of Ledum Palustre makes the smell of one’s sweat unpleasant to the sensitive receptors of mosquitoes making it a natural repellent. Rest assured that the variation is only perceived by insects and there is no olfactory evidence among our peers and is particularly suitable for children.
The Ledum Palustre purchased in herbal medicine , should be taken with patience and the first effects are seen after a few days. It must be taken on an empty stomach, the blood cells must not be touched with the hands and are to be dissolved under the tongue. It is important to keep taking it for as long as you want to be protected from mosquitoes.
The recommended doses are as follows:
5ch-9ch, 3 granules at a time for 3-4 times a day
Obviously, as often happens with homeopathic remedies , the finding is not univocal. It depends on the person and his metabolism, as not all individuals sweat the same way.
Finally, if all the protections are exceeded and you are stung, you can use an aluminum chloride ointment (5%) which immediately reduces the itching, avoiding scratching infections especially in children. Or you can rub the bump with rock alum or the same Neem oil which is also effective in limiting the infections enjoyed by scratching.